ACEP’s new first responder training program, Until Help Arrives, was officially unveiled during ACEP19 in Denver with a series of events to highlight how emergency physicians can positively impact their communities by conducting training sessions to teach the public basic life-saving skills.
On Monday, ACEP hosted a tele-press conference to release the results of its national poll assessing the emergency preparedness of the average civilian.
The poll results were compelling, indicating that most citizens feel unprepared to step in to assist after a medical emergency. The respondents said the main reason they don’t step in to help is because they are afraid to do more harm than good.
According to poll results, confidence wanes as the emergency gets more severe:
- 68 percent are not confident to help in the event of a mass shooting.
- 62 percent are not confident to help if someone’s been shot.
- 52 percent are not confident to help if someone has stopped breathing.
- 50 percent are not confident to help if someone is severely bleeding.
- 48 percent are not confident to help in case of a natural disaster.
- 47 percent are not confident to help if someone has been in a car accident.
The Until Help Arrives course teaches participants how to assess scene safety, communicate with 911, control severe bleeding with or without a tourniquet and to perform compression-only CPR. The poll results indicated this type of training is sorely needed:
- 61 percent are unprepared to administer an AED.
- 51 percent are unprepared to control severe bleeding.
- 42 percent are unprepared to move an endangered victim to safety.
- 45 percent are unprepared to apply a tourniquet.
- 41 percent are unprepared to perform compression-only CPR.
ACEP Past President Paul Kivela, MD, MBA, FACEP, who was instrumental in the creation of the program, said the poll results were surprising to him, especially since some states require CPR training for many public roles. “I was pretty shocked at how few people really feel secure delivering that type of first care.”
On Friday, Oct. 25 in advance of ACEP19, emergency physicians Kristen Nordenholz, MD, FACEP, and Whitney Barrett, MD, led an Until Help Arrives training course for 20 Visit Denver and CenterPlate catering staffers, part of the city’s convention and visitor’s bureau team. Using the instructor packs provided by Until Help Arrives partner Simulab, Dr. Nordenholz and Dr. Barrett spent 20 minutes presenting the curriculum and 40 minutes leading the group in hands-on practice for bleeding control and resuscitation.
Dr. Nordenholz, associate professor of emergency medicine and the University of Colorado School of Medicine, is passionate about bringing this training to the public because she’s seen the difference firsthand that immediate CPR can make on patients who are brought to the emergency department. Plus, she felt energized because she was able to see the course making a positive impact as the students gained confidence during the class.
“People walked in quite nervous about what they were going to learn, and they walked out of the room really feeling good that they had invested 60 minutes learning how to stop bleeding and how to start compression-only CPR,” Dr. Nordenholz said.
Dr. Nordenholz is one of the first course instructors to implement Until Help Arrives in her community. Rhode Island emergency medicine residents Landon Wood, DO, and Tim Bikman, DO, have conducted several courses in their community the past few months as part of an ACEP Chapter Grant. Look for a firsthand account of their experience in the November issue of ACEP Now.
Developed by emergency physicians, Until Help Arrives is a condensed version of FEMA’s “You’re the Help Until Help Arrives” campaign. Wondering how Until Help Arrives is different from Stop the Bleed?
One key difference is the length of the course. Until Help Arrives is the shortest course on the market, providing training in the most basic life-saving skills in a quick, one-hour format. Dr. Kivela said one of the main challenges with other training courses is that many require a half-day or full-day time commitment.
“As emergency physicians, we like doing things better, faster and less expensive, and [Until Help Arrives] is the solution.” Dr. Kivela said. “It’s really only an hour to save a life, and it’s probably one of the best hours you can invest.”
As far as curriculum differences, Until Help Arrives goes beyond bleeding control to also teach compression-only CPR. The presentation also provides instruction related to assessing scene safety, communicating with 911 and utilizing AEDs when available. The course curriculum and materials are also offered in Spanish and ACEP hopes to include more languages as the program grows. Learn more at UntilHelpArrives.com.
THE NEXT STEP
Interested in leading a course in your community? If you’re at ACEP19, head to Booth #125 to view the instructor packs and learn more about becoming an instructor. You can also fill out the instructor interest form to gain access to course curriculum and other instructor resources.
Jordan Grantham is a communications manager at ACEP.